Game Time: 7:05 | TV: MASN, MASN2 | Radio: WHFS
D. Haren - RH Erik Bedard - LH
(4-2, 1.74) (3-2, 4.28)
Stewart - LF Roberts - 2B
Swisher - RF Markakis - RF
Johnson - 1B Tejada - SS
Cust - DH Huff - 3B (no, really)
Crosby - SS Hernandez - C
Ellis - 2B Gibbons - DH
Scutaro - 3B Millar - 1B
Kendall - C Patterson - CF
Bocachica - CF Payton - LF
Hey, kids - it's gamethread time!
On paper, this is a pretty sweet pitching matchup. Haren has full use of his extremities and is not on the DL, which is an achievement in itself for anyone wearing an A's uniform these days. Also, check out that ERA. Bedard pwned the AAA team in DC last weekend and is turning into a strikeout machine. But don't just take my word for it, he's currently 4th in MLB in that category with 75. Facing Haren, Erik's chances of getting decent run support are pretty slim tonight (or any night, really). I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that he pitches well and once again doesn't get the win.
Despite Oakland's injury epidemic (Milton Bradley marks the 12th man to go on the DL this season), they are hovering at exactly .500 at the moment. This is partially due to some slugging heroics by former Oriole Schmoe/Cult Hero, Jack Cust. He was sortof the Jon Knott of '03-'04 and chances are, he'll do something in this series to make the O's FO look like idiots.
The O's are currently headed for some astonishingly bad offensive stats this season, especially when it comes to their power numbers. We're last in the AL in homers and not only is it absolutely killing us, but it makes no damn sense. We're on pace for around 115 homers, which is well below the totals amassed by the same set of players in the last few years. Last season, home runs from this same group of guys totalled 170. Our starting pitching has been pretty damn good, but this ain't 1966, folks. It's 2007 and we play in the AL East. 115 homers ain't gonna cut it. We can't ever come up with the big offensive innings, and we're gonna keep losing games because of that. Bullpen meltdowns are a big problem, but not the only problem.
Oh, and before I forget: BUH DARD